Does it ever feel like your prayers bounce off the ceiling? There have been times I’ve wondered if my prayers make a difference. It seems everyone goes through experiences when it’s easy to be discouraged. Disappointments and injustices can knock the wind out of you. But little things still matter – like receiving a text, a notecard, a phone call, or even just a hug with the message “I’m praying for you often.” Knowing someone prays for you really helps. And it takes things to a new level to remember – someone prays for you always!
Have you ever done one of those dot to dot pictures? You know, the ones where you take a pencil and connect all the dots in numerical order? When you are done connecting all the dots, you see a picture you created. It’s always a fun surprise to view the final image. This is an important consideration going into each new year. What dots will you be connecting this next year? What picture will you create?
We are ending one year and approaching a new one! That brings unknowns and opportunities. The coming year will be filled with blessings, as well as challenges and troubles. Still, it’s like a fresh blank page on which you write more of your life story. What a fantastic privilege – and responsibility! What will you write on your fresh blank page this next year?
Best Gift Ever!
What is the best gift you’ve ever received? Was this special present something you received when you were a child? Or does this memory come from when you were a teen? Maybe your most favorite present came after you became an adult. Whenever you received it, you likely still remember it as the best gift ever!
In 2006, a song was released that talks about compassion. Everyone Needs Compassion! How about you? Do you need compassion for what you are going through? Maybe you need mercy, kindness, hope . . . and maybe even a sincere hug. Perhaps you think your “mountain-of-a-problem” can’t be moved. Or it’s impossible to be healed from your losses.
What exactly does “in a nutshell” mean? And why talk about it as we approach the Christmas season? According to a phrases resource * I found, it means – “In a few words; concisely stated.” I suggest at this busy, exciting holiday time, getting Christmas in a nutshell might be helpful. So what does that look like?
Thanksgiving! This holiday of gratitude is celebrated in various ways at different times of the year, depending on your country and culture. When is your Thanksgiving? How do you celebrate? If you had a Gratitude Scale that could measure how thankful you are, on a scale of 1 – 10, where do you fall?
What do you use to tell time most often? A clock on the wall? Perhaps you wear a wrist watch or carry a pocket time piece. Many people use their phone clock. Some people are blessed to live in a college community with a bell that tolls the hour. Whatever you use – what time is it?
In current culture, what time is it?
Scary stories are scariest if you are in the story, but you don’t know what is going to happen. The risk is significant, the outcome is uncertain, and the danger is elevated. All the unknowns make scary stories hold your breath and hope things turn out OK. If you already know how things turn out, most of the “scary” is gone.
Have you noticed a lot of unrest all over the world recently? It’s sobering. And it affects people. Even folks who feel pretty stable are wondering – “What is going on these days?” There’s a complete lack of contentment, and people want to know how to respond to all this unrest. In a world of upheaval, what hope is there to regain a life of contentment?
Jesus gives really great advice about contentment, and I think it’s super relevant right now.